I’m back from my trip to New York City. It was really nice to see everyone, and those of you I missed, I’m sure I’ll catch you on the next trip, which I’ll take more time to plan. 🙂 I also made it to The Strand for the first time, and wow! I think I want to live there. Just set up my little leather chair and ottoman and read to my heart’s content. I took some pictures with my cell phone, but I need to find my microdisc adapter before I can post them. It’s just a 2 megapixel little cell phone, not my regular nice camera, so the clarity isn’t so hot, but it was fun to memorialize a little of my trip.

There are some things in the works which I’m not ready to talk about on the blog yet, but hopefully I’ll be able to post about them soon when I get all the information together.

In the meantime, I was thinking about all the reading that I’ve done recently, and it occurred to me that this is the perfect place to talk to bookish people about all those good books.

So: what have I read lately?

Alcatraz vs. the Scrivener’s Bones by Brandon Sanderson. Disclaimer: Brandon is a friend of mine from college. But who cares? Whether I know him or not, the book is funny–even funnier than the first book, Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians (well, disclaimer on that too: I read book 1 in draft form, so I bet book 1 in print is even funnier).

I got started on Bad Kitty by Michelle Jaffe (the YA novel, not the picture book) before the flood happened, and I haven’t had a chance to finish it yet. So that goes back in the TBR list (i.e., books I want to read but don’t have physical copies for for the TBR pile). As far as I read, I was enjoying the snarky teen girl voice.

The Luxe by Anna Godberson. I had expectations going into the paperback version–because I think I had read spoiler at some point–that were conf
irmed by the end, but despite my expectations being confirmed I loved the way this story was told. One thing I did not expect was five different viewpoints, but it was really amazing how it all fit together so well, despite the different characters’ vastly different agendas. We in publishing can often make generalizations about the number of viewpoints a book should have; this book is a great example of the exception to he rule. If you’re thinking about doing more than one viewpoint in a book you’re currently working on, The Luxe is one to look at as a craft example. I’ve been told that its sequel, Rumors, is even better, so that goes in the TBR list.

Currently reading

Lamplighter by D.M. Cornish. The sequel to Monster Blood Tattoo (or Foundling, as it’s now called, and now the series name is Monster Blood Tattoo), which I heard on audio. Highly recommend that listening experience–I loved the narrator. I’m not very far into Lamplighter yet so I can’t really comment on it–yet!

Skinned by Robin Wasserman. Seems like science fiction for teens is taking a turn from the dystopian, which I’m really glad to see. There’s so much more to science fiction than that one subgenre. So far so good–the main character Lia Kahn is in an accident that nearly kills her and her consciousness is downloaded into a new body. It’s almost a zombie meets an android, I suppose–it almost fits in with books like Zombie Blondes and Generation Dead, but not quite–so if you have readers who liked those books this might be one of those "if you liked _________ then you might enjoy ________" recommendations (depending on the reader, of course). It looks like it’s going to tackle some interesting subjects while Lia deals with being dead, but not dead.

On the TBR pile/list (not comprehensive! 🙂 and amazingly enough, they’re not all YA)

Manolito Four-Eyes by Elvira Lindo
How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justina Larbalestier
The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, and The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
My Rotten Life: Nathan Abercrombie, Accidental Zombie by David Lubar (this looks HILARIOUS)–ARC for the book coming out Aug. 2009, so no link yet
Zoe’s Tale by John Scalzi (a YA branch-off in the world of Old Man’s War)
Veil of Lies: A Medieval Noir by Jeri Westerson
The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama (which I’ve been meaning to read for a couple years, and wanted to read before the election)
Lord Loss by Darren Shan
Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey
The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett (this is an ARC–the book doesn’t come out until March of 2009)
Minders of Make-Believe by Leonard S. Marcus (another one that I started before the flood but hadn’t gotten through before all the craziness began. I fou
nd it at The Strand for $13! I heart The Strand!)
The Good Neighbors–Book One: Kin by Holly Black and Ted Naifeh
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci (which also looks hilarious–stories about geeky life). Also, another ARC for a book coming out Aug. 2009, so no link yet.
Sovay by Celia Rees. This looks awesome, but I haven’t started it yet. It’s about a rich teen girl in the late 1700s who becomes a highway robber. If you’ve read Witch Child, it’s the same author. I LOVED Witch Child, though its sequel, Sorceress, wasn’t as strong. I haven’t had a chance to read Pirates! but I’ve heard good things about it.
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin. I’ve been meaning to read Grace Lin’s books for a while, so I’m excited to get a chance to read the ARC of her new book, which comes out next year.
Meg Cabot’s 1-800-WHERE-R-YOU series.

Oh, and another reason I love The Strand? Richard Scarry’s What Do People Do All Day? for $10.50. Not even Amazon has that price. I had this book as a kid but I can’t find my copy of it. I also had the fairy tale book–little kitty as Little Red Riding Hood? It was awesome! I didn’t go looking for it, though. Too much temptation, if I found the Richard Scarry section. I
didn’t go with a lot of extra money in my pocket. But oh, the temptation! I think this is an updated version of a book my brother and sister and I had as kids. My brother had Cars and Trucks and Things That Go. I think one of these days I need to get them all and do an homage post to Richard Scarry.